Oliver Bryant Racing

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24th June 2015

Alternator Issues Costs Ecurie Ecosse Dear at Paul Ricard

Frustrating result masks promising performance ahead of Spa

Ecurie Ecosse Powered By Black Bull’s improved pace ultimately went unrewarded in round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Paul Ricard on Saturday evening(June 20) after an early alternator charging issue prevented Alasdair McCaig, Devon Modell and Oliver Bryant from making an impression on the Pro Am frontrunners.

After frustrating outings at Monza and Silverstone the legendary Scottish squad’s BMW Z4 GT3 had been running well during the opening exchanges of the six-hour/1000km race before losing eight laps in the garage. The Barwell Motorsport crew’s efforts ensured there were no further issues but, with the car already out of contention, the race – run into the night – turned into an extended test session ahead of the championship’s blue riband 24 Hours of Spa round this July.

While a lack of one-lap pace contributed to the crew starting only 15th in class, a good balance and strong set-up meant all three drivers were confident of moving forwards in the first of the season’s proper endurance events. And although an aborted start and early Safety Car period initially stymied Modell’s progress, once into his stride the Briton was able to pick up several places over his opening hour-long stint.

McCaig was next into the hotseat, but his first run lasted just two laps before data gathered at the previous driver change revealed the charging issue that necessitated a lengthy stop for repairs. Insult was then added to injury when race stewards awarded the car a drive-through penalty for Modell’s part in an earlier incident.

All three drivers nevertheless stuck to their task, with McCaig and Modell alternating their stints before Bryant climbed aboard for a double in the French darkness. Their collective efforts ultimately resulted in 14th in Pro Am.

Such was the BMW’s pace and handling that the team is now feeling confident about its chances at Spa next month a year after finishing second in class there.

Alasdair McCaig: “Alternator issues cost us what might have been a very good result for Ecurie Ecosse. All three drivers showed fantastic pace throughout the event but we were never going to pull back the eight-lap deficit. The Barwell crew did an unbelievable job to get the car back out on track in the shortest time possible. I just really hope our luck changes at the 24 Hours of Spa.”

Devon Modell: “The car felt brilliant over the first stint and we were able to make a lot of progress until getting stuck behind a Mercedes, which halted our charge somewhat. The alternator issue was a huge blow as it put us out of contention in a race that all of us had the pace to continue making progress in and, potentially, score a good chunk of points. Hopefully that’s our bad luck out the way and we get the rewards everyone’s effort deserves at Spa.”

Oliver Bryant: “We had excellent pace and balance this weekend, but unfortunately the charging issue that developed on lap 12 necessitated a lengthy stop for repairs. We battled on and brought the Z4 home 14th in class, but it was a tough weekend without reward for the sterling efforts of the team and all the drivers. We’ll now shift our focus towards the 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the GT3 racing calendar.”

Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “It was a frustrating but thankfully rare BMW component failure, which was ironically due for replacement after next week’s Spa test anyway. The car went very well there last year and, after our strong pace at Paul Ricard, we’re looking forward to better times ahead.”

Ecurie Ecosse and Barwell Motorsport now travel north to Belgium for this Wednesday’s official 24 Hours of Spa Test Day ahead of the race itself on July 21-26. The team will be back there earlier than that though when its British GT campaign continues in the Ardennes on July 10/11.